Finally, there is the issue closest to my heart, which is the development of evolution itself as the context for a new worldview, as a frame in which to radically rethink and deepen our understanding of so much of human life. We setup an interview and I got to speak with Mario Cuomo for about 30 minutes on Teilhard, cultural evolution, war and peace, ethics, religions, God. Adolescents and Spirituality: Do Mountaintop Spiritual Experiences Really Make a Difference? Blog Adolescents and Spirituality: Do Mountaintop Spiritual Experiences Really Make a Difference?
I have a vivid memory of the last night at youth group camp as a high school freshman: As wind howled around us, we sat close together, snuggled in a blanket and singing loudly against the rushing of leaves. Now as a therapist, looking back on my own experiences and comparing them to current research, I want to identify the mechanisms of spirituality or spiritual transformation that have the capacity to generate authentic and long-lasting character growth. Sarah Schnitker and colleagues at Fuller Seminary’s Graduate School of Psychology studied the conversion experiences of 45 adolescents participating in Young Life camps, a Christian organization that reports a high incidence of conversion and spiritually transforming experiences each year (Schnitker, Felke, Barrett, & Emmons, 2014, p. Schnitker and colleagues, in the Thrive Center research titled Spiritual Transformation and Virtue Development in Adolescents in Young Life found that increases in virtues after transformational experiences were not just due to the adolescents’ engagement in the youth organization, but were the result of changes in their spirituality and religiousness after a reported first-time spiritually transforming experience.
So what can you—as a parent, teacher, youth leader, or youth mentor—do to help stimulate spiritual experiences and growth in the adolescents around you?
Provide opportunities of reflection with adolescents and model a spiritually engaged lifestyle.
For myself and many others, “mountain top experiences” like the one I had at camp are some of the most memorable times of life, not only because of the joy of a fleeting transcendent moment, but because they mark important shifts in the trajectory of our lives.
About the AuthorAbigail Shepherd BeyenbergAbigail Shepherd Beyenberg is a Thrive Scholars Research Fellow at the Graduate School of Psychology at Fuller Theological Seminary. WRITE A POEM FOR MR MAGORIUM - National SchoolsWRITE A POEM FOR MR MAGORIUM Mr Magorium is a big fan of acrostic poems. And from the pages of The Nation to a recent article in Newsweek, evolutionary psychology, once the darling of pop media, seems to be taking it on the chin.
And evolutionary thinking is making advances, seeking to influence the domains of art and literature.
Many of the proponents of evolutionary psychology like David Sloan Wilson support this as a general goal as well. It’s about a rich, new way of understanding the development of everything from the farthest reaches of the human psyche to the outer edges of the universe.
Well, there are those who may understandably fear the dominion of the overly narrow assertions of this new science, but we must not let them throw the baby of evolutionary thinking out with the bathwater of questionable science.
For the first time, I felt a deep sense of closeness with the people around me and with God. I felt a sense of joy and wanted it to last; I began to seek spiritual growth with a profound and relentless hunger.
The potential to understand the connection between spiritual transformation and character development presents a powerful tool for fostering positive change in the lives of youth.
The increases in those with first-time conversion experiences led to spiritual and religious transformation and were predictive of virtues increases in their gratitude and patience. The cost of youth camp trends upwards with each year, and it can take an enormous amount of sacrifice to get your student on that youth camp bus. This is right in line with what Schnitker and colleagues found in their data: spiritual transformation that grows out of transcendent moments like these often lead to character growth. Her research interests include virtue formation and human thriving among adolescents and emerging adult populations.

Now remember that evolutionary psychology is the popular new field of science that suggests that human psychology is written in our genes and in our brains. It also adds one more important dimension to the multidimensional complexity of the human self. They see the extraordinary potential in evolutionary thought, and sense its power to provide a higher context for contemporary life, one that lifts us out of the fragmentation and relativism so endemic to our current society, and in the academy. It’s about the hidden structures deep in the interiors of the brain, but also about the hidden structures deep in the interiors of culture.
I took up spiritual practices such as morning devotions and prayer, and sought greater depth and intimacy in my family and peer relationships.
That’s the motivation behind two new studies from the Thrive Center for Human Development, which suggest that spiritual transformation and virtue development are indeed connected for adolescents.
You might be surprised that they have an entirely complex belief system or have already had an intense spiritual experience that needs fostering.
Some adolescents who know that money is tight will hold back from asking to go; they may even pretend they don’t want to go because they don’t see it as feasible.
Consider allowing moments of quiet and reflection for your adolescents and do it with them!
Although the character change is gradual, the catalyst seems to be these intense spiritual experiences.
It suggests that certain psychological impulses that we experience today are the result of adaptations that were selected hundreds of thousands of years ago in the lives of our ancestors. However, as is often the case, proponents of exciting new fields tend to overreach, and evo-psych is no exception. And it’s another thing to demonstrate it or test for it in the same way we might test for say, genetic inheritance.
And there are those on the other side of the fence who see the exciting potential of a new unifying context for understanding so much of human life. Through these experiences and practices, I noticed that I began to care more deeply about the people in my life. In my experience as a church youth leader and therapist, I have found that adolescents often won’t tell you what you don’t ask. More and more, churches and other organizations offer scholarships, sometimes called “camperships” to help kids get to camp. The best way to show adolescents that those moments of reflection matter is through modeling and having those moments together. It seems that following a spiritual awakening many teens are inspired to pursue life-giving relationships and choices. Evolutionary psychology also dovetails with brain science in the sense that proponents argue that the record of these psychological predilections given to us by our ancestors are largely writ in the structure and workings of our brain. This world is pregnant with a new evolutionary worldview; it is gestating below the surface of culture, emerging slowly on the edges, just beginning to receive attention from the mainstream media. This turning point marked a drastic turn-around, the beginning of an ongoing process of growth. In this study, spiritual transformation was measured using participant self-reported experiences and also by assessing for spirituality and religiousness before and after camp. If your child is seeking the experience of camp and time away from the busyness of daily living (and a break from technology), consider the benefits and do all you can to make it happen. It’s as if they are awakened to the possibility of joy and they respond by doing everything they can to maintain it.

The researchers collected data one to two weeks prior to attending camp, immediately after camp, and then one year later.
We love sex, and all the romantic accouterments that go along with it, because of its importance in the evolutionary scheme of things.
Some evo-psych theories have suggested that promiscuity and even rape were once an adaptive advantage, and thus explain their common prevalence today.
Perhaps, but I would like to suggest that the idea of evolution far transcends the current science of evolution. We don’t want the vast potential of a new evolutionary worldview hijacked by an unwinnable culture war.
They assessed for changes in life satisfaction, depression, self-esteem, loneliness, vitality, meaning in life, virtues such as patience and gratitude, attitudes, and performance. Longitudinal study of religious and spiritual transformation in adolescents attending young life summer camp: Assessing the epistemic, intrapsychic, and moral sociability functions of conversion. We tend to over-indulge in sweet foods because that’s what best served our survival and reproductive needs thousands of years ago. Focusing exclusively on Darwinian mechanisms as the primary instruments for understanding the evolution of consciousness (psychology) and culture (sociology) is like using a magnifying glass to look at the Mona Lisa.
We get jealous, not because of our fundamental relationship with our parents, as Freud might say, but because infidelity threatens our need to pass on our genes to the next generation. Some feel that allowing an evolutionary basis for bad behavior is akin to making a Stone Age excuse for current moral failures. It does reveal something interesting, but sooner or later, we are going to realize that there is a lot more to the big picture. We band together in close-knit groups because the tight bonds of such relationships would have conferred survival advantages to our Stone Age predecessors. Terupt By Rob Buyea Synopsis It's the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. And the latest popular assertion is that humans have an evolutionarily hard-wired predilection for religious belief. Just because an impulse might be present somewhere in our psychological structure doesn’t mean we have to act on that impulse. Faith is part of our genetic make-up, so goes this argument, because of the advantages it once gave us in terms of the creation of tight-knit, highly loyal social bonds that helped us survive the slings and arrows of life among the Flintstones.
That’s common wisdom, not to mention the most basic teaching of all religious traditions. It just goes to show the kind of problems we inevitably create when we hitch our morality to the temporary ebbs and flows of science. Download Fantastic Mr Fox Character Traits - Roald DahlFantastic Mr Fox Character Traits e a€? ers in x xt. Download John Ciardi : a€? How Does a Poem Mean ?a€? - CSUN2 John Ciardi How Does a Poem Mean? Fritzsche's Fourth & Fifth Grade Book Projects It's time to put your reading comprehension skills to work.

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